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Think tutus, pretty girls, and Tchaikovsky.

The art of ballet is formalized performance dance that has evolved into a new concert dance. It all started during the Italian Renaissance as a dancing pantomime for fencing, much different from today's perception of the art. It developed through French courts' social dances. France's early influence is made apparent through the "vocabulary of ballet", the steps and forms with their own names. During the 18th century, its technicalities developed so that it became a dramatic art on par with Opera.

By the 19th century, Russia had adopted its own style and continued to train even under Soviet rule. The Russian Ballet is one the most famous of all companies.

Well-known Ballet Companies:

  • American Ballet Theatre (USA)
  • The Australian Ballet (Australia)
  • The Bolshoi Ballet (Russia)
  • The Mariinsky (or Kirov) Ballet (Russia)
  • The National Ballet of Canada
  • The New York City Ballet (USA)
  • The Paris Opera Ballet (France)
  • The Royal Ballet (Great Britain)
  • The Royal Danish Ballet (Denmark)
  • The San Francisco Ballet (USA)

Ballet technique would require far too much elaboration for this page. Ballet dancers typically start at 8 years old and continue training into their late teens. When not taught properly, ballet can result in the most crippling of injuries, which is one of the reasons why lessons are considered fairly expensive. Among the pressure to sculpt a 'Balanchine body', the promise of a short career, and intense training, being a ballerina is not some princesslike girly sport.

Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Alicia Alonso, Briely Movric, Paloma Herrera, Svetlana Zakharova, Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nuriev, Angel Corella, and Mikhail Baryshnikov are some of the most famous dancers in the world.


Ballets with TV Tropes pages:

This is probably a good indication that Tchaikovsky's ballets are the most well-known and successful. Other famous composers of music used in ballet are Nikolai Tcherepnin, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Aaron Copland, Lorenzo Ferrero, Leonard Bernstein, Adolphe Adam and George Gershwin.


Works with major involvement of ballet:

  • Ballet Shoes: A book about three adopted girls living in 1930's England. Together they are being trained in dance, with varying degrees of success.
  • Billy Elliot: A young boy rebels against the prejudices of his working class friends and family to pursue his love of ballet. Set during the mining strikes of Thatcher's Britain.
  • Black Swan: The intense stress of life in a ballet corps drives one dancer to paranoia and madness.
  • The Cherry Project: About a figure skater training in ballet.
  • Princess Tutu: Combines ballet with Magical Girl tropes.
  • The Red Shoes: Romance and ambition collide, tragedy ensues. Based loosely on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the same name.
  • Swan: A Shojo about a young ballet student striving To Be a Master.
  • The Turning Point: Aging ballerina and her retired friend rehash old professional rivalry. Mikhail Baryshnikov's film debut. Received eleven Academy Award nominations, all of which it lost.
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